Over the course of a month, I ended up eating or drinking four times at restaurants run by Team Broderick. Once at Broderick for Sac Bacon Week, twice at Capital Dime (once for a work happy hour and once for dinner) and most recently, on Friday evening for dinner at Trick Pony. It wasn't intentional - it just kind of happened organically.
During my many visits, in coversations with the owners, management and staff, I've had the opportunity to hear about what they've done with the restaurants thus far, and what's to come. Here are 5 of the most important things I've learned, and why I think they have a good chance at being successful.
1. Andrea Vadavato, the effusive Italian server with an infectious energy from Masullo, is now the manager at Trick Pony. Vadavato is my favorite restaurant employee in Sacramento. I had heard on Twitter that he had moved to Florida, and was surprised when I later heard he became Trick Pony's manager. When I saw him on Friday evening, he explained that it was just a big game of telephone. He had gone on vacation, but never planned to move permanently, and now he's lighting up the room at Trick Pony.
2. Speaking of Trick Pony, co-owner Matt Chong told me that they have a new Italian chef hired to execute their vision for an osteria, which is generally a simple and inexpensive Italian restaurant serving local specialities such as pasta, grilled meat or fish. They'll also continue to put their wood-burning oven to use to make pizzas. Co-owner Chris Jarosz told me that the new chef will be improving their dough again and will provide training to the staff to improve both the texture and taste of the pizza. They now also own a pizza cutter, so if you're like me and like to have your pizza cut for you, they'll do it.
3. The owners are hands on. During each of my visits, either Chong or Jarosz were visible at the restaurant - no easy feat since I popped into the restaurants randomly. At Trick Pony, Chong was delivering additional napkins for the evening. At Capital Dime, Jarosz was directing traffic. On Second Saturday when I was walking by Capital Dime at 10 p.m. or so, Chong was outside attending to details. These guys are busting their butts to make the restaurants a success.
4. Capital Dime is adding to its menu. Right now, all the entrees are burgers or sandwiches. When we went for dinner on a Sunday evening, the four of us, two of whom were my retired in laws, each chose a different burger. I could tell my mother and law tolerated eating a burger, but she would have preferred something else. Thankfully, they'll soon add more small entrees to serve the non-burger eating diners. BTW: The lamb burger, duck burger, fried tomato BLT and whiskey burger were all winners. The lamb is the most unique and therefore satisfying of the bunch.
5. Chef Stan Moore, who initially stayed with Capital Dime during the change over, is no longer at the restaurant. I hope he finds a new restaurant to showcase his obvious talents at.
The owners said they're about half way done with their improvements. I think they're making good progress and I'm rooting for them to be successful. As they are now, I enjoyed the meals I had at each of the restaurants, although it was clear that there were still little things that needed to be improved.
Given how hard the owners are working and the success that Broderick has become, I'd suggest you give Trick Pony and Capital Dime another chance.
If you're not convinced, here are a couple other opinions about the new place:
Capital Dime and Trick Pony get Broderick touch - Five weeks into this challenge, Jarosz is trying to bring some of that magic to the heart of midtown. He’s not there yet, but he’s playing to his strengths, which is a combination of farm-to-fork sincerity, a distinctive palate, an unpretentious way of looking at food and an edgy approach. I’m thinking about the Johnny Cash burger at Broderick, big and juicy and over the top; the banh mi fries, that are a wonderful mess of flavor; and the oddly delicious mac and cheese that is finished in the pan so it’s caramelized and crispy and really tasty. The best dish so far at Capital Dime 2.0 (or is it 3.0? 4.0?) is the duck burger. Second best is the whiskey burger with extra-thick slices of bacon, followed closely by the lamb burger with a lively sauce straight out of Lebanese cuisine. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.
What to expect from the Capital Dime reboot - Now that Broderick Roadhouse owners Chris Jarosz and Matt Chong have taken over operations of the restaurant, the menu has returned to its original concept of $5 and $10 price point dishes. And the revamped menu is very good. "They were having issues figuring out the right format and with operations. I'd been interested in the space for a while, since before, when it was L Wine Lounge. It was one place I really wanted to get my hands on." The offer ended up being a dream come true. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.
KP International Market food court: So. Much. Food. - While KP International Market is possibly my favorite place to shop in the Sacramento area, its food court doesn’t serve the best food in town. Still, when you can combine grocery shopping and dining into one trip—both at a bargain prices—it makes for a highly rewarding experience. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.
Coriander: Almost hip, almost there - It feels to me that Coriander is where a restaurant should be when it’s doing friends-and-family night a week before opening. There are good ideas here, and the cooks in the kitchen have a grasp on technique. At this point, it’s a matter of balancing flavors, adding a bit of chili pepper here or star anise there, or cutting back on the salt. More time and effort needs to be put into transforming this hope-to-be-hip joint from an indifferent occurrence into a sought-after adventure. The potential is there. It just needs to be nurtured. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.
Ice cream update! - Given the heat of July, ice cream is a pretty important food in my diet right now. In honor of the refreshing frozen treat, the following are a few scoops of ice-cream-related developments. This first one is old news. Featuring Here's the Scoop, Sweets and Sugars, Baker's Donuts, Ice Cream Walk. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.
Elk Grove mayor pours cups for a cause - Gary Davis smiles as the aroma of roasting coffee beans begins to fill the crowded back room, a bucket of Rwanda now, a load of Guatemala later. A few footsteps away, customers at his newly opened Grace Coffee Roasters location in Elk Grove trickle in for a late-morning cup. It’s perhaps an unlikely career move for Davis, who is Elk Grove’s mayor and works for the California Charter Schools Association. But it stems from a dream he’s held since his college days at California State University, Sacramento, and, he says, a need to make a difference. Darrell Smith in the Sac Bee.
VIDEO: Paints and Pints - Cambi Brown is at Old Town Pizza & Tap House in Elk Grove for a fun way to enjoy beer and art together! On Good Day Sac.